Is my car dealer service dept. BS'ing me?

I know, the answer is probably yes. They are professional bullshitters.

My car (2015 Infiniti Q60S convertible) is at 36K miles and they are giving me dire “Red flag” warnings that I need service that is not in the scheduled maintenance. These are not fixing broken things.

Fuel induction service ($190): Uses a “special tool” to clean fuel injectors, fuel lines, and intake valves and ports.

Flush and replace differential oil ($140): The service manual says “inspect” but never says “replace” (unless you tow a trailer or drive off-road). They are saying I need this only because I’ve never had it done, not because there is some problem.

Wheel alignment ($140): I can believe this but they didn’t show me the numbers. I usually don’t do just because time goes by, only if there are symptoms.

Throttle body cleaning ($100) (because I might have “deposits of carbon and sludge”!)

Power steering flush ($140): Power steering fluid is never mentioned in scheduled maintenance, not even to “inspect.”

My bullshit-o-meter is pegging. How about yours?

Mine goes to 11.

It’s supposed to be inspected every 5,000 bullshits. Have you had it serviced lately?

I usually only do wheel alignments at the onset of new tires. The others don’t ping me at 36k miles. I’d blow those off until something indicates a problem. Consider it self-insurance.

your biggest mistake was going to a dealer for anything other than warranty work. Good shops that are not dealers don’t pull that crap.

Sounds like bullshit from beginning to end. Is your car running properly and is there any indication from, say, uneven tire wear that would indicate an alignment is necessary? If not, and unless the dealer can give some sort of verifiable indication that these items are necessary, IMO you can safely skip the lot. As a bonus, you might consider entertaining yourself by questioning the service writer in great detail as to what all these flushings and cleanings are supposed to accomplish. For just one example, throttle body cleaning? What are the symptoms of “carbon and sludge”? Why would your car need this at 36K miles when most vehicles go their entire lives without needing such “cleaning”?

Good shops that are dealers don’t pull that crap either. The Honda dealer by me is outstanding. I have no idea how rare that it though. The sales department in the same lot are a bunch of fucking scum bags. I buy the cars elsewhere and save thousands.

I usually consider myself to be a smart consumer but I made a mistake when I bought the car and included a pre-paid service package–includes oil changes and state safety inspections for seven years. Huge mistake. First, it would have been cheaper to get the service done elsewhere. Second, the only reason they do this is to get you through the door to sell you other service you don’t need.

The only favor they did me is noticing a very minor coolant hose problem which they fixed under warranty. Although they probably did themselves a favor since the manufacturer pays them for it.

I am thinking about calling it a sunk cost and going somewhere else.

At my Toyota dealer each car gets a 4 wheel alignment check as it’s coming through the entry lanes. You get a printout immediately.

Same here, and on my last two visits they’ve told me my 4Runner was slightly out of alignment, offering to correct it each time for something like the $140 the OP was quoted.

Instead, I purchased a lifetime 4-wheel alignment package from the shop I usually buy tires from. I think it was $200. Since I keep my vehicles forever, it works out for me.

Don’t forget to have them replace the air in your tires with winter air.

At least they didn’t try to sell me nitrogen.

I also vote bullshit.

And Indicator Fluid and Power Bands.

I once had to leave my car at the dealer for warranty work for a few hours. They offered to wash and vacuum my car for $100 while it sat on the lot. Said wash looked to be done by two teenages with ancient sponges and buckets. I declined.

Mine broke the needle off on the peg. OP owes me a new meter!

Seriously, all that stuff at 36k miles? That’s about a year and a half’s worth of driving here in the west.

I have been flat out lied to by a dealer service department technician. Caught him very red handed. Reported to his management with a “we’ll deal with him” response but I’m quite certain this is just a way of business for them. That’s the worst of the worst. There is one dealer, however, whose service department I do trust. Same OEM by the way.

What, no top off for the blinker fluid?

My response would have been along the lines of “Huh, that’s good to know. If Infiniti makes such poorly designed vehicles that they need this service, especially so soon, then I know to never buy one again. Thanks for the head’s up! Now please return my poorly engineered vehicle to me, as is, never to cross your threshold again.”

Wouldn’t do any good, but it would make me feel better.

If there’s a problem worthy of attention, it’s going to affect emissions, at which point your malfunction indicator light will be lit. If it’s not lit, there’s no problem worthy of attention.

Agreed (with you). The folks who designed the vehicle known what its maintenance requirements are, and they put those requirements in the manual. If they’re not in there, then there’s no good reason to do it.

Agreed. If the tread is wearing evenly (and not excessively), then the alignment is fine.

See above. If there’s enough to be a problem, your car will let you know (via the MIL).

Yup. PS fluid doesn’t have to deal with combustion products like the engine oil, so it should last far longer (like the life of the car, basically). The manual probably doesn’t advise inspection because if you do so and find that the fluid is glittery, then the PS system is already terminally ill, and there’s nothing to do but replace parts.

Save your money, just do the maintenance that the owner’s manual says to do. Infiniti-The-Manufacturer wants your car to last a long time (if it doesn’t, their reputation suffers and you won’t be back), so they’ll definitely tell you all of the maintenance you really need to do. They don’t benefit by making you do a bunch of bullshit maintenance. Infiniti-The-Dealer, OTOH, does benefit from making you do a bunch of bullshit maintenance. If the question is ever who to trust regarding your car’s maintenance needs, always go with what the manufacturer says - not the dealer.